Westminster College Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies Presents
our Criminal Justice Symposium April 9-10, 2015

Westminster College
McKelvey Campus Center
Witherspoon Rooms
319 S Market St
New Wilmington, PA 16172-0001

"Incarceration and Reentry"


Our featured Keynote speakers are Amanda Alexander and Garay Tennis, Esq.



Amanda Alexander who is a Soros Justice Fellow and Director of the University of Michigan Law School Prison & Family Justice Project. The Project serves families divided by incarceration and the foster care system using a combination of direct representation, know-your-rights education, targeted litigation, and advocacy. Amanda received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she founded the Women, Incarceration, and Family Law Project. During law school, she worked with The Bronx Defenders, conducted research for National Advocates for Pregnant Women, and worked on alternatives to stop-and-frisk policing as an Ella Baker Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights. A PhD candidate in international history at Columbia University, Amanda’s teaching and research interests include mass incarceration, criminal law, reproductive justice, family law, and prison teaching. Amanda is a sponsor of Michigan’s Inside-Out Prison Exchange Theory Group and an advisor to the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated. She lives in southwest Detroit.


Gary Tennis, Esq. of Philadelphia was nominated by Gov. Tom Corbett to serve as secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs in January 2012.  Tennis is retired from his previous position as chief of the legislation unit in the Philadelphia's District Attorney's Office, where he represented the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association working with the General Assembly.  In addition to more than 25 years of legislative experience, Tennis served as executive director of the President's Commission on Model State Drug Laws in 1993.  He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tulsa in 1975 and was a Rhodes Scholarship nominee.  He is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Tennis's first order of business will be cot analyze the provision of drug and alcohol services, which are currently provided through several agencies including the state departments of health and public Welfare.  The goal is to ensure the highest and most effective care for Pennsylvania citizens struggling with addiction.


Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WCCJS

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Studies Symposium

April 4th - 5th, 2013

"Innovative Strategies in Criminal Justice"

This undergraduate focused symposium features practitioners, academics, researchers and activists working to solve problems within the criminal justice system through innovative responses and proactive programs. 

Call for Papers:

Westminster College invites undergraduates to present posters or papers based on research in criminal justice topics during their Criminal Justice Symposium, on April 5, 2013. Prizes will be awarded to outstanding papers, with a top prize of $500. The goal of the symposium is to discuss innovative responses to contemporary problems in the criminal justice system. Research topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • New policies in policing, courts or prisons
  • The impact of recent criminal justice policies
  • Critiques of current criminal justice programs
  • Theoretical work in criminal justice
  • Research on individuals, employees or clients within the criminal justice system.

Proposals for research papers and posters should be in the form of a 500-word abstract. They should be submitted by March 1, 2013, see the link to the right. Students who wish to compete for research prizes should submit their full paper by March 15, 2013.

Featured Speakers:

Secretary John Wetzel, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Key Note Address: "The New Normal" (to check out the podcast of this talk, please click on the title)

Mark Bergstrom, Executive Director PA Commission on Sentencing

Innovative Strategies Panelists:

LaToya D. Warren, Deputy Warden Allegheny County Jail
Steve Devlin, Vice President of Program Management at Renewal, Inc.
Sharlee Beatty, Community Specialist, Mercer County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division
John A. Zottola, Judge for the Orphan's Court Division of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County

Career Networking Panelists:

Nicole Amabile, Victim Services Supervisor, Crisis Shelter of Lawrence County
Chuck Baldwin, Program Director-Mahoning Valley Regions The Village Network Inc., Residential Boys' Village Campus
Glenn Bonczak, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Jennifer Brown, Supervisor of Prevention Department, LCDAC
Huey Gillispie, Private Detective, Gillispie Investigative Services
Steve Hromoko, Special Agent IRS-Criminal Investigation
James R. Jendrysik, Director, Lawrence County Adult Probation & Parole, Lawrence County Government Center
Julie Jendrysik, Case Management Supervisor at LCDAC, Inc.  
James Robertson, Jr., Esq., Law Clerk for the Honorable Jill E. Rangos in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, Criminal Division.
Joyce Wilkes, Superintendent SCI-Cambridge Springs




Thursday, April 4, 2013

5:00 pm     Dinner, Watto Room

6:00 pm     Registration, 3rd Floor Atrium

7:00 pm    "The New Normal" by John Wetzel, Witherspoon Rooms

9:00 pm     Girls on the Wall a movie screening presented by Sociology Interest Group, Witherspoon Rooms which was well recieved an excellent                  learning experience for all who attended.

Friday, April 5, 2013

8:00 am     Registration, 3rd Floor Atrium McKelvey Campus Center

9:00 am     Innovative Strategies Panel, Witherspoon Rooms.  See above for panelists.

10:30 am   Refreshment Break, 3rd Floor Atrium

10:45 am  Student Presentations #1 - Berlin Lounge

12:00 pm  Lunch with speaker, Mark Bergstrom, Witherspoon Rooms

1:30 pm  Student Presentations #2

3:00 pm  Career Networking Panel, Witherspoon Rooms. See above for panelists.


Early Bird Registration:  Feb. 15, 2013
Abstracts for presentations due March 1, 2013
Papers due for prize consideration due March 15, 2013
Late registration to attend the symposium will be accepted until April 2, 2013 however, space may be limited.

Registration Form

Click below to download the symposium registration form.
download pdf

Abstract/Paper Submission Form

Click below to submit your abstract and/or paper.

Lodging Information

  • Best Western
  • 724-748-5836
  • $80.00 symposium rate
1924 Leesburg Grove City Road, Grove City, PA  16127
You need to call and state that you are with the Westminster College Criminal Justice Symposium to get the symposium rate. First come, first serve. Breakfast and wi-fi included.

Call for Papers

Click below to download the call for papers.
download pdf

Symposium Brochure

Click below to download the symposium brochure.
download pdf

Directions to Campus and Printable Map of Campus


List of 2013 Symposium winners and the titles of their papers


Photos of the 2013 Symposium